I think we’re ready to adopt a pet but we don’t want a puppy or kitten. In fact, we’re thinking about adopting a senior animal. Would that be a good idea, or would a puppy or kitten be easier?
Ready to Adopt in Ella Lee Forest
Dear Ready to Adopt,
Is there anything cuter than a puppy or a kitten? Not much that I can think of–but you want to know what’s not always so cute? Having to train and teach them the rules of your home; middle of the night feedings and bursts of energy; destructive behaviors…the list goes on and on. So, what about a senior pet? There are some real benefits to adopting a pet in their “golden years.”
Energy levels: An older pet would likely rather cuddle on the couch then run laps around the living room. This is not to say that an older pet won’t have the energy or endurance to go play at the park with you and your family–I’m just saying that he might not wake you up at 3 am, repeatedly placing a saliva-soaked tennis ball on your face or attacking the “bed mice” (your feet).
Good manners are well-established: An older pet will usually be potty trained and have stopped chewing and biting. Your older pet might also already know basic commands. Most senior pets are already accustomed to sleeping at night, eating in the morning, going potty before bed and after waking–unlike a puppy whose schedule is similar to a newborn baby.
You’ll be a hero: Puppies and kittens are the stars of the show at most shelters, so they’re typically the first to get adopted. Senior pets are often overlooked and are among the first to be euthanized. By adopting a senior pet, you’re truly saving a life and making a difference. You’ll also have an animal who appreciates what you’ve done for them and will be forever loyal.
No surprises here: Your senior pet will be fully grown, so there’s no paw-scrutinizing, guessing what size animal you’re getting. Personality has also already been established, so, just like size and shape, you sort of know what you’re getting.
Save some money: Your senior pet will most likely have already been spayed/neutered and be up to date on their vaccinations, which is a big financial commitment that you have to make when you adopt a puppy or kitten.
Short-term commitment: Yes, it sounds grim, but if you’re not in a position to offer the next 20 years of your life to a pet, adopting a senior animal might be a good solution.
Are you sold yet on the idea of adopting a senior pet? Well, good news…most area shelters offer reduced adoption fees for pets over a certain age–some not even close to senior citizenship! Check out your local shelter and see what they have to offer.
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at dear firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet of the Week
Meet Perry. This 1.5 year old sweetheart was left behind after her owners moved without her. She arrived at BARC covered in wounds and dripping in blood. You wouldn’t know that now though, as this wonderful girl is healed and ready for her new beginning. Perry gets along with other dogs, loves to play and cuddle. She’s crate-trained and about as sweet as they come. Wouldn’t she fit perfectly into your home? If so, contact Scout’s Honor at: www.scoutshonor.org.